trade startup homelab

trade startup homelab
Edition 1/2017 | € 9.75
Special Edition
Our Business
The makers of the Voltera
V-One desktop PCB printer
The Business Case
for commercial Linux
Focus on: Embedded,
Server Based
for self-organizing
Microcontrollers & Tools
Voltera V-One • From Makers to Market using 96Boards
• Network Engine SoC Reference for 400 Gbps • WaWision
• The Business Case for Commercial Embedded Linux
• Intel Apollo Lake • Hubs Become Central to the IoT
• Industry Predictions for 2017 • Infographics
• Talking Heads • From the Garage up to
Industrial Production • Server Based Solutions for Self-Organizing Networks
From Makers
to Market using
By Amir Sherman, Director of Engineering Solutions & Embedded
Technology, Arrow EMEA
Many designers are using the community boards
available in the market for their proof of concept and
to evaluate their idea on a valid, working platform.
One of the most popular community boards in the
world is the Raspberry Pi powered by the Raspberry
Pi foundation. But how can you use a community
board and go to the next step of pre-production and
mass production?
In many cases you can’t use the Raspberry Pi ‘as is’ because
it was never meant to be used in production environment: it
doesn’t support industrial temperature ranges (-40 to +85
degrees C); it was not tested for mass production; and there
are some other limitations as well.
In other cases, and for high quantity requirements, most companies want to develop their own board. They may want to
design in the application processors built into the community
boards and to use the boards as the reference design.
The success of the Raspberry Pi has led to companies developing further community boards based on popular embedded
application processors including those from NXP (Freescale
i.MX6), Qualcomm (Snapdragon), Intel PSG (Formerly Altera)
CycloneV and many others.
All of these boards have been compared to the Raspberry Pi.
In most cases they have better performance or smaller sizes
but this has not affected the success of the Raspberry Pi.
One of the main community platforms that presents a different way forward is the 96Boards organization powered by
Linaro. Linaro’s mission is to bring together industry and the
open source community to work on key projects, deliver great
tools, reduce industry wide fragmentation and provide common
software foundations for all.
The 96Boards hardware specification defines various standardized form factors, unlike the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi
uses only Broadcom SoCs and the form factor changes from
board to board. With 96Boards, the user has a choice of various SoCs at different price points.
96Boards is the first open specification to define a platform for
the delivery of compatible low-cost, small footprint 32-bit and
Elektor Business Magazine 1/2017
Figure 1. The DragonBoard 410c is one of the world’s first ARMv8 64-bit
development boards to be produced in high volumes and made available
at an attractive price point of $75, making it easy for developers to work
on advanced mobile technologies.
64-bit Cortex-A boards from the range of ARM SoC vendors.
Standardized expansion buses for peripheral I/O, display and
cameras allow the hardware ecosystem to develop a range of
compatible add-on products that will work on any 96Boards
product over the lifetime of the platform.
The 96Boards’ specifications
There are currently three 96Boards specifications for low-cost
ARM Cortex-A and Cortex-M development boards:
•the Consumer Edition (CE) targets the mobile, embedded and digital home segments;
•the Enterprise Edition (EE) targets the networking and
server segments;
•the IoT Edition (IE) targets the Internet of Things (IoT)
and embedded segments.
One of the main successes of the 96Boards consumer edition
was the DragonBoard 410c, which utilized the Qualcomm®
Snapdragon™ 410 a 64-bit processor that started to appear
in smartphones around the world just over two years ago.
The DragonBoard 410c (Figure 1) was not only one of the first
low-cost ARMv8 64-bit development boards to be mass produced, but also one of the first 96Boards branded products. Over
the last year, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Linaro, and Arrow
have built strong software and ecosystem support around the
DragonBoard 410c. Developers who select this platform benefit
from a wide variety of operating system choices including Android, Debian Linux, OpenEmbedded, Ubuntu Core and Windows
10 IoT . These operating systems pair with the many available
IoT development kits such as Amazon Web Services (AWS),
AT&T M2X, Brillo, IBM Bluemix Watson and Microsoft Azure.
At Embedded World 2017 Arrow will introduce several new
96boards to the market:
Meerkat. Based on the 96Boards™ specification, meerkat
(Figure 2) features the NXP® i.MX7D processor, a dual-core
ARM® Cortex™-A7 at up to 1.2 GHz clock speed per core
and ARM Cortex-M4. The connectivity on the board is: WLAN
802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth 4.1, One USB 2.0 OTG micro
AB, Two USB 2.0 HOST, On-board BT and WLAN antenna. I/O
Interfaces — one 40-pin Low Speed (LS) expansion connector:
two UART, SPI, I2S, I2C x2, GPIO x12, DC power, RGMII, CAN,
PWM and more interfaces based on the 12 GPIO lines (outside
the 96Boards specifications). The second I/O Interfaces based
on 60-pin High Speed (HS) expansion connector that supports:
USB 2.0 HOST HSIC. The board can be made compatible with
Arduino using an add-on mezzanine board. The OS Support is
Linux based on Debian.
Chameleon96. Based on the 96Boards™ specification The
Chameleon96 (Figure 3) features the Intel® Cyclone V SoC
FPGA, a dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 at up to 800 MHz clock
speed per core, capable of 32-bit operation. It is designed to
support feature-rich functionality, including multimedia.
The board specifications are: processor based on Intel® Cyclone V SoC FPGA Dual-core ARM® Cortex®-A9 at up to 800
MHz per core plus 110 K LE FPGA fabric. Graphics based on
Intel® Video Suite for FPGA, the boards drive a 1080 p at
60 fps through an HDMI interface and as a two lane MIPI CSI
interface. The use of the FPGA fabric for the video processing
allows development of custom IPU/GPU/VPU solutions on this
platform. Memory/storage on board is: 512 MB DDR3 up to
400 MHz (shipped with 512 MB, can support 1 GB) and SD
3.0 (UHS-I). Video capabilities are 1080 p @60 fps HD video
playback & camera support via the MIPI CSI. Audio support is
PCM/AAC+/MP3/WMA, ECNS, Audio+ post-processing (optional). The connectivity on board is: WLAN 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz,
Bluetooth 4.1, one USB 2.0 OTG micro AB, two USB 2.0 HOST
(The board supports OTG or the host’s ports at one time, not
both), On-board BT and WLAN antenna. The I/O Interfaces
are the same as others on the 96boards form factor and the
board can be made compatible with Arduino using an add-on
mezzanine board. The User Interface consists of Power/Reset
with 6 LED indicators: 4 user controllable and 2 for radios (BT
and WLAN activity). The OS-support is Linux based on Debian.
Oxalis. The 96Boards EE (Enterprise Edition) carrier board
which holds the SoM based on NXP Network Processor QorIQ®
LS1012A processor, optimized for battery-backed or USBpowered, space-constrained networking and IoT applications.
It integrates a single ARM Cortex-A53 core running up to 800
MHz with a hardware packet forwarding engine and high-speed
interfaces to deliver line-rate networking performance in an
ultra-small size envelope at 1-W typical power dissipation. The
Oxalis incorporates the same Trust Architecture and software
compatibility of higher-tier QorIQ LS family devices, enabling
scalable, secure applications that leverage a common 64-bit
software platform. Also connected to the LS1012A are 64 MB
QSPI Flash, 1 GB DDR3L, 2x GBit Ethernet, SATA, 2x USB 3.0,
mPCIe, PoE and other peripherals.
Figure 2. A meerkat is small, fast, has a variety of communication skills
and communicates within a large group (source: Wikipedia).
The Author
Figure 3. The Chameleon96 meets all 96Boards mandatory specification
(excluding MIPI SDI Interface) and most optional specifications. The board
supports Linux at launch and offers advanced processing power, WLAN,
Bluetooth, and USB, all packed into a board the size of a credit card.
Amir Sherman has more than 20 years of embedded
experience with a focus on microcontrollers and
microprocessors. He has been working for Arrow Electronics
for the last 15 years as an embedded field application
engineer (FAE) as well as an FAE and technical manager.
Embedded, Microcontrollers & Tools
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